Lizzie Le Blond Album 1

“My Home in the Alps” 1886-1890

After recuperation failed in Algiers, Hyères, and Menton,  Lizzie’s doctors ordered her and her infant son to Switzerland.  Arriving in the summer, Lizzie dreamily described the quaint, still quite rural and untouched, village of Chamonix: “I saw for the first time those glacier-­clad Alpine ranges which were to mean so much to me for the rest of my life.”

 

Lizzie was climbing within two weeks.  She would remain in Switzerland for the majority of the next two decades.

This album, which bears the gilt initials “E. M.” opens with a shot of the region Lizzie honeymooned with Dr. Main. The album then skips ahead to 1888 and includes an astonishing array of photos covering city scenes, mountaineering and winter sports. We’ll cover Lizzie’s pioneering sports photography in the section about Album 4 and her mountaineering exploits will be discussed in the introduction to Album 6.

Lizzie's photograph captions show her humor and her dedication to whatever the subject at hand.  In Album 1, she focuses on personal commentary about friends and the scenic landscape she was suddenly immersed within. In later albums, she whimsically discusses how to climb on ropes while in a skirt with captions like “Nevermind Your Womankind!” She also logs precise mileage on her biking tour and even sets her camera to actual level to demonstrate how much the famed Tower of Pisa is truly leaning.

While many of the albums overlap on dates, people and places, each has its own voice and its own distinct individuality that seems to have mirrored the many facets of Lizzie’s own character.